Welcome to IdeaJones.com

Articles, radio stories, ads, columns, corporate communications, novels or scripts – we’re never short of ideas. You can see some of our designs in our Redbubble shop. We also have a small shop at Etsy.com.


Joey Jones is the published author and editor of many newspaper and magazine articles, radio stories, advertisements and commentaries, and has ghostwritten everything from speeches to love letters. She is a past Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting semifinalist and Fade In: Screenwriting Awards quarterfinalist. She also gathers sound and conducts interviews as a freelance field producer in the Sacramento area, and her on-air performance as “The Dying Fish” can be heard in the Water Education commercial series.

Mark Jones makes a living producing radio shows (like Connections on Capital Public Radio’s Music Station). As Martin Jenkins, he’s heard weekday evenings on CapRadio’s four news stations, and Sunday mornings on 91.3FM KUOP Stockton/Modesto. Mark has also sung, acted and directed local theater and TV.


We’re about the story. Whether it’s the facts and figures of nonfiction, or the deeper truth of fiction, we want to find just the right words, sounds, and/or images to get it across.

We’re also about the process. “Do the work right, and on time.” Life’s too short to make things harder than they have to be.


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Love Beads and Broken Bones

This will have to be short. We were going to make an announcement this weekend regarding our Love Bead Safe Harbor Pin Project… then *wham!,* the storm met an open car trunk door, which met my hand… want the gory details? Didn’t think so. Anyway, I will be okay, eventually.  The Project will go on, but the announcement will be delayed. For now, just know that (1) I’ll be teaching a class on Saturday, June 3 at SCRAP in San Francisco (more at Scrap-SF.org) on how to make Safe Harbor pins, and (2) I’ll be at several locations on Sunday, June 4, and more details to come in a couple of weeks.

Meantime, if you got a Love  Bead Safe Harbor pin from me, or from someone who did and gave away one, as requested, we’d love to hear from you!

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The Love Bead Project

We can all be “Safe Harbors” for the people around us!

I never pictured myself becoming an activist, and certainly never thought of myself and the word “hippie” in the same sentence. When I was in kindergarten, protesters were the people on the news who shouted at everyone, and hippies were the people hanging out in ragged clothes who looked like they  needed a shower.  Suffice it to say that it looked as though the 60s had missed me — I was too busy trying to learn to tie my shoes. Looking back, there were things I did that were very 60s, raising mealworms to feed birds caught in an oil spill, for example. That was the start of a lifetime of volunteering, still I didn’t think of myself as a real child of the 60s.

Then I started hearing from people who were being threatened and harassed. Who were afraid, for themselves, their families, their friends, and I got mad. Normally I’m a cheerful sort, and it takes a lot to get me angry, but more and more, people I knew were being ridiculed and threatened. They felt isolated. Unsafe. Unwanted.

It was about that time that I heard of the Safe Harbor pin, an idea that came to the U.S. from the U.K. Wearing a safety pin was a way of signalling that you were a “safe harbor,” a person who would try to treat someone with respect. I liked the idea and started wearing one. Then word came that white supremacists were co-opting the symbol, wearing plain safety pins. That was offensive, but to whom could I object? Where was the place I could register my complaint?

So I took my pin and “tarted it up, ” decorating it, making it more flashy and flamboyant. “Good luck wearing something like this, asshole!,” I muttered as I added beads and charms.  I posted a photo of that first pin, and heard from people who said they were now going to “tart up” their pins as well. I made more pins, fastened them to old business cards (perfect size), and started carrying a few with me. Whenever someone  liked my pin, I gave him one.  This created some really interesting and enjoyable interactions.

Now, I put two on a card, and ask the recipient to give away one, spreading the hope. I don’t ask where that person comes from, what he believes, what his personal life is like. If he wants to talk and I have time, I’m willing to, but the idea is that I don’t have to approve of someone to offer him encouragement, and he doesn’t have to approve of me to accept it. It’s a simple thing, between two human souls.

I have given away almost 100 pins since December of last year. Now, we’re spreading the hope even further. There’s a class scheduled for June in San Francisco on making Safe Harbor pins, and in connection with the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, I’ll be handing out pins in five spots in San Francisco. My goal is to hand out 500 pins.

But making 500 of anything takes time and money. My husband and I have been funding this ourselves so far, but to get to 500, I’ll be running a GoFundMe campaign (more details to come). Donors will receive a set of pins and sponsor a set to be given away. I’d like to give some away to centers helping at-risk youth as well.

While doing this, I’ll be putting my sculpting and other artwork on hold. Like I said, making 500 of anything takes time. Mom used to say that time was the gift so precious, people rarely give it to one another. So that’s part of what I give with the pins, a bit of my time, a piece of my creativity, a morsel of hope — and then hope that person spreads it, too.

More on the GoFundMe to come.

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Marching Introvert

Not a crowd person.

I’ve been meeting a lot of new people lately, which is, for an introvert, a mixed blessing. I enjoy meeting good people, but I’ve been in several crowds lately. For an introvert, that’s a challenge.

As a friend pointed out, I’m both an introvert and shy. They aren’t interchangeable. The best explanation of the difference between introverts and extroverts I’ve ever seen: Extroverts get energized by being around people. Introverts spend energy to be around people, then have to be alone to recharge. I like people (well, I like kind people), but after a while, I have to be alone to recharge.

It has nothing to do with liking people or not. My batteries just get tapped out.

I’ve always been an introvert. Extroverted friends complain about being alone too often. They get bored and lonely. Left to my own devices, I grab a book, or paint, or any number of things.  If an extrovert is with you, he might just want to be with someone. If I’m with you, I want to be with you, specifically. It’ll cost me, but I think it’s worth it.

There are more extroverts in the population at any given time than introverts, which makes sense. If the species tended more toward introverts, how would enough of us get out and find mates to keep humanity going? But extroverts can find it difficult to understand introverts.

Mark had a cousin who was a dear lady and an extrovert to her toenails. She was, as my Mom would have said, a “Y’all come” sort. Extroverts can not only handle unexpected company, they may welcome it. Introverts like to know what’s coming, socially, so we can be ready. Mark’s cousin welcomed us into her family circle, invited us to their summer gathering in the woods. Like I say, she was a sweetheart and I really enjoyed her. We rented a cabin nearby, but not too nearby, so I could get some alone time when all the togetherness was too much. As she welcomed us, she said, “Everybody does whatever they want. Relax and enjoy yourself!”

One day,I needed some of that alone time. It was great playing board games, swimming, hanging out with the family, but my battery needed charging. I was looking forward to it, with a new book to read and a really good grilled cheese sandwich to eat. Mark’s cousin (let’s call her Cathy) decided she wanted to take a drive to visit another relative. Extroverts like to do things with groups of people, as a rule, so she was getting up a group and invited me. I declined, politely, and explained I was looking forward to reading my book…

“But… are you all right,” Cathy asked.

“I’m fine,” I assured her. “I just need some time alone and a book.”

Cathy looked alarmed. “Did someone say something to you? Did somebody hurt your feelings? Who was it?”

Confused, I shook my head. “No, Cathy, I’m fine. Nobody insulted me. I just want to read my book.”

“Come with us,” she said, “you’ll feel better.”

“I feel fine, Cathy. I just want…”

She grabbed my arm. “We’ll have fun. Some fresh air and a nice drive and you’ll feel great.”

“I feel great now. I would just feel greater with my book.”


I told her gently, but firmly, that I wasn’t mad at anyone, I just wanted to spend some time with a grilled cheese sandwich and a book. With that, I left for the lodge, picked up my sandwich, and headed for the cabin.

A car drove by the cabin, then it was quiet. My sandwich smelled delicious, buttery and golden brown. My mouth watered. Just as I cracked the book open, there was a knock on the door.

There stood Cathy, some of our relatives peering at me from her car. “Cathy,” I said cautiously, “what’s going on?”

“We came to pick you up,” she said with a bright smile.

“But I told you…”

“Oh, I know,” she said, “and I know you don’t want to tell me what’s wrong and that’s fine, but I can’t enjoy myself knowing you’re here alone and miserable!”

“I won’t be miserable,” I said as patiently as I could. “My sandwich is getting cold.”

“Bring it with you!”

“I don’t want to,” I told Cathy. “I want to read my book. Have a good time and I’ll see you when you get back.”

She took my arm. “Come on…”

“No,” I said, pulling free. Before she could object again, I stopped her. “Didn’t you say everybody does whatever they want here?”

“Well… yes…”

“What you meant was that everybody does whatever you want, didn’t you?”

She laughed. “Yes.”

I ushered her toward her car. “Have a good time. I’ll see you later. I’m going to be right here for the next couple of hours, eating my cold sandwich and reading. I’m an introvert, Cathy, and I need some time alone. If I don’t I’ll have to kill someone.”

She accepted it and left, but really didn’t understand. The next day she asked me if I was all right and was I sure nobody had hurt my feelings. But it came from wanting me to be happy, so I just took it that way and assured her I was okay.

Extroverts have trouble understanding how being introverted works. It doesn’t mean that we don’t go out, or socialize. If we want to do something enough, we will. If we want to be around you, we will. Then we’ll go home and recharge.

This weekend, I went up to total strangers at a rally and asked them if they’d like a free “Safe Harbor” pin. The idea of going to a huge rally by myself and walking around talking to strangers made me nervous, but it was something I believed in and decided to do. I met some lovely people, all very different, but nice, people who were there peacefully protesting and standing up for things they believe in with dignity and good humor. I enjoyed meeting every one of them, and I’m glad so many people showed up, and conducted themselves so well. It was great to be a small part of such a huge movement, and I hope the people who marched stay aware and involved.

And now, time to recharge.


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Hearts and Peace Signs

Available on zazzle.com or redbubble.com. Just search for “ideajones” and you’ll see it.

The 50th anniversary of the “Summer of Love” is this year. Maybe that’s why I’m drawing so many peace signs, or maybe it’s just that everyone seems so angry and worried. It seems like a good time to remember that how we respond is always our choice.

A portion of our commission goes to charities helping people or pets in need.

Mom was always involved in projects for charity. When I was a toddler, she and my grandmother hand-made beautiful doll clothes for an annual toy drive. I wasn’t that much into dolls, but seeing my mom and grandmother so focused on making them, and seeing how beautiful they were (mom really could sew), I wanted them. I must have been about three when this happened. I told her I wanted (pointing) that one, and she handed it to me, but explained it was made for someone who had no toys. Someone who was going to have a very sad Christmas. Did I want to take that doll dress away from her?

Let’s be honest — I did. Because mom made it, because it was beautiful, and because I was three. But I put it back.

Later, she had our Girl Scout troop make presents for kids in hospitals (little paper chimneys full of candy and a little toy), and we grew meal worms for birds recovering after an oil spill. My dad, who ran a furniture store back then, organized employees into refurbishing furniture returned to the store for distribution to halfway houses. I trick-or-treated for Unicef.

My parents weren’t hippies. Far from it. But they remembered The Great Depression and mom used to say, “There but for the grace of God go I.” She used to tell me that if you’d been really poor, if you’d been hungry, you knew what a kind gesture could mean.

Whatever our leaders do, on a day-to-day basis, our world is in our hands. Yes, there are things our government should do, things that take all of us together. But if we (you, Mark and me) give a recent immigrant a bus pass, or a bowl of kibble to someone who’s having trouble feeding his dog or cat, or give art supplies to kids from homeless families, we don’t fix all of the world’s problems, but we make one thing just a little bit better.

So if you’ve ever bought a onesie, or a tee shirt, or a cell phone case, or anything else from us, thank you. You supported a small business. You were a patron of the arts. You were a philanthropist helping someone in need. You hippie, you (lol).




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Safe Harbor and safety pins


These are “Safe Harbor” pins. I make pins like these and give them away. It’s led to some heartwarming interactions.

“Safe Harbor” is a symbol that came to the U.S. from the U.K. One wears a safety pin to signify that one is a “safe harbor” for people who feel threatened in some way. It says “I will try to treat you with respect and courtesy.”

As reports of people being harassed and threatened grew, I decided to wear a pin and hand some out. Then white supremacists and others started trying to co-opt the plain safety pin, so I started “tarting them up,” adding beads and pendants.

I wasn’t sure if anyone would get what I was doing, but when Mark and I went to Southern California to see friends, I took a few along. When someone admired my pin, I gave him one. A young man who works at Universal Studios Hollywood noticed my pin as Mark and I were leaving. He asked if I knew the significance (I did). I offered him a pin. He was very excited. He said that he knew people who had been harassed and felt threatened. He asked to hug me, explained that he wasn’t allowed to wear the pin at work, but he would when he wasn’t working. Mark and I made a stop at the Customer Service Office, and when we came out, the young man came running over to show us his new pin in its new home, on his hat.

Since the first few were well-received, I decided to make more and give those away. Today, at the Women’s March on Sacramento, I gave away 50 pins in less than 15 minutes. They were accepted by young mothers, including one nursing her baby, older women including a grandmother who also took one for her granddaughter… women from all generations and backgrounds. Among the people I met today:

  • A church group, who said they are thinking about giving out Safe Harbor pins;
  • A group of young people (say 15-20) with partially-shaved heads, hair dyed in rainbow colors;
  • A couple with a daughter lofting a Mexican flag;
  • A group of young women in pink “pussy” hats;
  • A little boy who took one with a leaf, because he wants to encourage people to take care of nature;
  • A young woman who took a packet with two simpler pins (not as ornate as the ones in this photo) because she liked the idea of taking one and giving another to someone else.

My favorite might have been the mom who navigated the crowd with her teenaged son in tow. She had accepted a pin earlier and hailed me through the crowd because her son wanted a pin, too.  By that time I was almost out, but he found one he liked.

I’ll be posting a video in coming days on how to make a Safe Harbor pin of your own. It can be ornate or simple. But I would encourage you to make at least two, one for yourself and one to give away.

In the end, it isn’t princes nor politicians who make our world what it is. Our world is whatever we choose to make it. They can’t take us where we are unwilling to go, and they can’t make us hate each other. We can be the first to be kind. We can give each other a Safe Harbor.

Hope you and yours are happy and well. Check back to see the video, probably early February so you can make a few pins for Valentine’s Day. And to the people who accepted pins, thank you.


#safetypin #safetypinAmerica

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